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The Beauty and Lessons of a Cloud-Covered Total Eclipse

Many people treat failure as a negative variable best managed, mitigated, or outright avoided. Instead, failure is the dark matter of scientific knowledge—unseen but holding the universe together.

Imagining a Future Without Wildlife in Madagascar

It is difficult to reconcile the need for food with the long-term need for wildlife conservation. It is clear that hunting at current rates drives certain wildlife species’ populations down to unsustainable sizes. Habitat destruction and fragmentation add to the problem. Not only is this harmful in terms of destabilizing food security, it also creates a cascade of harmful environmental impacts.

Save Our National Monuments

If Ryan Zinke, the secretary of interior, wants to emulate Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy, he should recommend leaving the national monuments as they are.

Viewing the Solar Eclipse—in 1937

By Melissa Sagen “Like a hungry small boy sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, an astronomer at a total eclipse of the sun is there to get all he can while he has the chance. The boy is determined to stuff himself with as much turkey as possible while it lasts, and the astronomer is eager…

Ideas Are Like Eggs: Once Hatched, They Have Wings

What started with a 3rd-grade animal report on the ring-tailed lemur has become a complete dedication to the people, plants, and animals of Madagascar. The ideas of a 9-year-old-me are now truly taking flight, as I train a new generation of Harvard students to help protect this unique land.

Let’s Talk About Sex—At the Dawn of Life on Earth

Whether sexual or asexual, reproduction is a necessity for all organisms that want to ensure their genetic material survives after they’ve bitten the dust (or in this case, the wet sand). Half-a-billion-year-old animals are no different.

Crossing the Okavango Delta: 2017

I can see a hippo just over the top popping up for air and snorting every few minutes in the river. I can’t tell how many birds I am listening to. I could be in a tree on a perfect summer day anywhere, but it’s winter and I’m in Botswana.

Get Inspired and Challenged by Native Youth Congress

One thing is clear where Jon and these kids come from in Native America: there’s not much sugar-coating going on. When you ask a hard question in Indian Country, you’ll likely get a harder answer.

What ‘Planet of the Apes’ & Caesar Show Us About Our Own Evolution

“Planet of the Apes” might not be our future, but it really was our past. Actors Andy Serkis and Karin Konoval—and Nat Geo Explorer Lee Berger—reveal how.

Microplastics in a Macroworld: Water Sampling in Patagonia

Dylan Jones describe his experience backpacking through the spectacular landscape of the future Patagonia National Park and collecting microplastic samples for Adventure Scientists’ Global Microplastics Initiative.

Fossil-Finding 101: How to Spot the Right Rocks

A question that members of the research team often get regarding our work in the South Australian outback is simply how we know where to excavate fossil beds. It’s a good question—an important aspect of the paleontological process is simply identifying the best places to look for fossils.

A Family of Explorers in Search of Some of Earth’s Oldest Fossils

Emily Hughes has been following her mother, paleontologist Mary Droser, into the field all her life. This summer the family is back in Australia digging up some of Earth’s oldest fossils.

Into a Vulture Lover’s Paradise

The vultures of Jaldessa Conservancy in northern Kenya are flourishing amidst the livestock and human communities of the region.

Hōkūleʻa Returns Home

This marks the first time in history that a Polynesian voyaging canoe has sailed around the world. The crew used ancient Polynesian wayfinding techniques, observing the stars, ocean, winds, birds and other signs of nature as mapping points for direction.

Using Positive Feedback for Training Elephants in Thailand

I have come to realize over the course of my visit that this is an incredibly sensitive complex concern, one that needs a multi-prong strategy, as one solution does not fit all the regional contexts.